In the world of The Division, a massive bio-terrorist attack on Black Friday led to the outbreak of an epidemic that left the city of New York without supplies. As institutions fail to restore control, agents from The Division, a group of sleeper agents hidden among the populous, are activated to restore order when society falls.
The Division franchise is set in a fictional setting and based on the books and stories of the novelist Tom Clancy. In his detailed espionage and military nonfiction books and scripts, there is a realistic connection to present dangers and international conflicts or politics.
The story of Tom Clancy’s The Division is no different and represents the consequences of a large scale epidemic that leaves our society on the brink of collapse. By using an existing location as a setting for a game, the developers involve, without intent, current politics in their creation.
Epidemics and political conflicts
In the Dark Zone, a quarantine zone in the middle of Manhattan, New York, established to stop the further spread of a devastating virus, government agents explore a locked down populated environment to restore control. The winter weather and fog creates an oppressive atmosphere in which potential danger lures around every corner.
Due to the outbreak of a large epidemic, there is a shortage of water, food and medical supplies in the entire region of New York. The remaining survivors fight for survival in a society that has abandoned them.
Manhattan, New York
The locations in the city you explore and experience in Tom Clancy’s The Division are more realistic and closer to reality than you might think. Massive Entertainment recreated a large portion of the city of New York with a lot of attention to the finest details.
Running through the empty streets of New York feels strange and unsettling. The believable setting evokes a feeling of fear and incomprehension. Even though the developers deny any political statement, the game comments on both local and international politics. New York is isolated and no organisations send help to solve this humanitarian crisis.
Delicate themes and topics worth discussing
Publishers and creative directors need to be conscious of the task their product performs in our society, and must not deny the presence of political statements. Games should introduce delicate themes and topics worth discussing, even if they contain current politics.
An interactive medium holds the power to tell realistic stories and developers should not keep politics out of their games. Tom Clancy’s The Division shows the destruction of a bio-terrorist attack and large scale epidemic in a realistic manner.
Inspired by real-life events
In recent years, we have seen the results of terrorist attacks on our society. Unexpected explosions in Brussels, Paris, London and New York show the potential danger and violence caused by groups with other political beliefs.
In literature and audiovisual media, writers and directors use both historical and fictional events to comment on current politics. If books, films and series can comment on current politics, why should an interactive medium not talk about politics or real international conflicts?
Believable and unsettling
Tom Clancy’s The Division uses real world events such as Black Friday, an illness comparable to the recent Ebola disease outbreaks in Africa and an accurate setting to strengthen their depiction on a weakened Manhattan, New York. This makes the events you encounter and setting even more believable and unsettling.
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Disclaimer. This post contains copyrighted images from Tom Clancy’s The Division, a video game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. The fair use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting or research is not considered as an infringement of copyright.